In a recent EVAdoption analysis of 14 of the most popular travel and hotel booking sites, we found that 9 of them (64%) included some variation of “EV charging station” as an option in their amenity search filter. Of the 5 travel sites that did not include an EV charger filter, 3 were the popular Hotwire, Priceline, and Trivago.
While the percentage of hotel direct bookings is increasing, online travel and hotel booking (OTA) sites still account for roughly 50% of hotel bookings. As such, at EVAdoption we wanted to understand how common it is now for online travel/hotel booking sites to have a filter for some variation of “EV charging stations” when users are searching for a hotel.
Across the 9 sites that did include a filter, there were 4 different EV charger terms used in the amenity search filters, with “Electric car charging station” used the most by 4 travel/hotel booking sites:
It is interesting that Hotwire and Trivago, which are both operating companies within the Expedia Group that also operates the travel sites Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, and Travelocity — do not include an EV charger filter while the other four Expedia Group companies do. We expect, however, that in the next few years all major travel/hotel booking sites will include an EV charger amenity search filter.
Why Does Having An EV Charger Search Filter Matter?
The significance for hotel chains and individual hotels is that when most all OTAs offer this filter capability and a growing number of EV drivers check this filter box, any hotels without chargers or that have chargers but are not included in the OTA database — will lose out on bookings. If you’ve ever taken a road trip or weekend trip in an EV you understand the huge benefit of a hotel with EV chargers. Access to charging at your hotel can eliminate having to stop and charge BEFORE arriving at your hotel or needing to go offsite to a public charger the next morning before heading out on local or longer drive.
Analysis of US property types using the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) database reveals that hotels are far and away the most popular property type with at least one EV charger on site. This is not really surprising due to the nature of EV drivers taking road trips and then wanting/needing and expecting to be able to charge their EV overnight when they reach their hotel destination.
Hotels, along with restaurants, convenience stores, coffee shops, and shopping malls have also recognized that the availability of EV chargers attracts highly desirable customers. And the fact that an electric vehicle is likely to be parked for 8 to 12 hours or more make hotels an ideal match for charging with Level 2 or even Level 1/120 Volt chargers/outlets.
Another reason more hotels have EV chargers than any other property type is simply supply. Tesla years ago established its Destination Charging network program that provided its Tesla Level 2 Wall Chargers (and initially even installation) to hotels, resorts, wineries, and restaurants free of charge. Now they only provide the charging hardware (as far as I know – I reached out to Tesla via the Destination Charging network host form more than 2 weeks prior to posting this article with no response as of yet). Additionally, ChargePoint and ClipperCreek — two leading providers of Level 2 chargers in the US — aggressively pursued hotels with their sales and marketing efforts.